McConnell: Senate will take up North Korea sanctions bill

McConnell: Senate will take up North Korea sanctions bill
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP lawmakers want Trump to stop bashing Congress Parkland father calls out Trump, McConnell, Ryan after Santa Fe shooting Overnight Finance: House rejects farm bill in conservative revolt | NAFTA deal remains elusive as talks drag on | Dodd-Frank rollback set for House vote MORE (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that the upper chamber will soon take up sanctions legislation against North Korea after the country claimed it detonated a hydrogen bomb.

"Sen. [Cory] Gardner has been working on a North Korea sanctions bill. We anticipate it will come out of the Foreign Relations Committee very soon, and I intend to schedule floor time on it shortly," he told reporters. 

The Republican leader met with Gardner, a Colorado Republican, and Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump to hold Nashville rally amid efforts to boost GOP Senate hopeful Kim Jong Un surprises with savvy power plays Tax reform postmortem reveals lethal dose of crony capitalism MORE (R-Tenn.), the Foreign Relations Committee chairman, on the issue earlier Tuesday.

McConnell made the comments ahead of an expected House vote this week to approve legislation from House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.). That proposal would block North Korea’s access to hard currency and target its assets for nuclear development.

The reported tests from North Korea have sparked bipartisan concern from lawmakers, though the administration has disputed the isolated country's claims. The successful detonation of a hydrogen bomb by North Korea would both violate a United Nations Security Council resolution and mark an increase in the country's nuclear capabilities.

The top members of the Foreign Relations Committee also suggested after a classified briefing with administration officials on Monday evening that they would expect the Senate to take action on sanctions legislation.

Corker said that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have introduced legislation and "so we're going to go through it methodically."

The Tennessee Republican, however, suggested what specific sanctions to enact weren't a focus of the Monday briefing. 

Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinKim Jong Un surprises with savvy power plays Overnight Energy: EPA moves to roll back chemical plant safety rule | NASA chief says humans contribute to climate change | Pruitt gets outside lawyer House lawmakers to unveil water resources bill on Friday MORE (D-Md.) said, separately, that he and Corker have already started having conversations to make sure the committee has a sanctions bill.

In addition to Gardner's legislation, Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezThe Hill's Morning Report: Can Trump close the deal with North Korea? Senate must save itself by confirming Mike Pompeo Poll: Menendez has 17-point lead over GOP challenger MORE (D-N.J.), who is a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSunday shows preview: Lawmakers weigh in after Texas school shooting Kim Jong Un surprises with savvy power plays Overnight Finance: Watchdog weighs probe into handling of Cohen bank records | Immigration fight threatens farm bill | House panel rebukes Trump on ZTE | Trump raises doubts about trade deal with China MORE (R-S.C.) have introduced a proposal to crack down on North Korea. 

The Graham-Menendez bill would expand the administration's ability to sanction property or seize the financial assets of individuals or organizations that aid the North Korean government. 

Menendez said that he is talking with Gardner to see if they can work out their differences and "bring it to the chairman in a bipartisan effort."